The plans, reported by the mass-circulation Bild tabloid on Monday, are part of a wider attempt to decrease meat consumption among Germans. At present the average German consumes an average of 89 kilograms of meat each year.
“A Veggie Day is a wonderful opportunity to try to nourish ourselves without meat and sausages. Cooking vegetarian is about more than just leaving out meat,” Renate Künast, chairwoman of the Green Party parliamentary group told the paper, adding that cutting down on meat was good for the environment, would lead to an increase in quality and better conditions for animals.
The plans have been welcomed by environmental groups. Head of the German Association of the Environment and Protection of Nature (BUND) Hubert Weiger said his organisation was campaigning for “one meat-free day and for at least 20 percent of meat served by canteens to be organic by 2015.”
He also said that the intense cruelty associated with factory-farmed animals should be banned. The associated benefits to animals and the environment would also raise meat prices to a fair level, he maintains.
The policy has already been tested in several cities. In the north-western German city of Bremen, office, school and kindergarten canteens have already introduced a weekly meat-free day. The city’s Social-Democrat mayor said it represented a chance for each person to “make a personal contribution to environmental protection.”
In the southern city of Stuttgart however, opposition to the policy meant the planned meat-free days never got off the ground.